Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #160 + #161: Home Alone 1 & 2

Title : Home Alone

Publisher : THQ

Developer : Bethesda Softworks

Genre : Action

Players :  1 Player

Release Date : 1991

Estimated Value (as of today's date): $5-$10

Title : Home Alone 2

Publisher : THQ

Developer : Imagineering

Genre : Action

Players :  1 Player

Release Date : 1992

Estimated Value (as of today's date): $3-$5

Tis the season folks! Christmas is upon us, and we're probably all sitting at home wrapping presents, or packing for a vacation, or slurping on some eggnog, or hell, maybe you're like me and you're stuck at work on Christmas Eve. But there is one thing we all have in common. We're all suckers for a good 'ol fashioned holiday movie. And what better way to celebrate the holiday season, than by reviewing some games BASED on our favorite holiday movies.

There's a few I have in mind for this year, and I hope you'll enjoy them, and some can even be debated upon if they are INDEED even holiday movies. But the first two I'm reviewing in this double-feature special, are no doubt one of the most famed holiday movies of our childhood generation.  I'm of course talking about the one kid who is capable of taking down the Wet Bandits, Kevin McCallister. 

And what parent enough is seriously dumb enough to leave their kid home twice....sorry, once in New York, and once at home. Don't get me started about "Lost in New York." I live in New York. It's IMPOSSIBLE to get lost in New York. Plus, even if you do get lost, ask a damn police officer! Damn, Kevin. You can defeat criminals, but you can't figure out how to ask for help. Instead you rack up your dad's credit card bill and give Tim Curry a hard time. DO NOT GIVE TIM CURRY A HARD TIME.


Home Alone 1 and 2 were a pair of movies that were the typical feel good holiday comedies that we come to grow and appreciate as we grew older. Not to mention that Daniel Stern was absolutely brilliant in both films, but we're not talking about the movies, we're talking about the video games. Since we are all experienced gamers here, I'm sure you can both pretty much expect what we're going to be getting when we play movie-based video games.

A cluster of garbage, that's what. But, it's Home Alone. It's got to be somewhat decent right?


The first Home Alone game was actually created by the folks over at Betheseda. The same company that brought us the Elder Scrolls Series and Fallout. Yup! Um....but I guess they needed to pay some bills or something with this game. It's loosely based on the movie as expected. You're stuck in your house alone, only to be victimized by the Wet Bandits who want to rob the joint. As Kevin, you need to survive in your house for 20 minutes and avoid being captured by them by the cunning use of household handmade traps. 

I wish I can go into the game more, but that's all there is to it. You listen to jarring music, while hearing that damn alarm sound every time Harry or Marv enter the house or a trigger a trap, all while running around or hiding behind furniture. It's a survival game. You either play the game for 20 minutes and win, or you get caught and lose.

You're on one screen the entire time which makes up the entirety of your multi-floored home as well as a tree house. Of course, you do get some quirky little traps in the shape of squares with pictures on them. You know, a box with a spider, a box with tacks, a box with a iron. If one of the crooks run into these boxes, they are rendered unconscious for a certain amount of time, allowing you to run around like crazy again.

That's all you're doing. Running, screaming, and acting like Kevin, all while two giant criminals try to murder you for foiling their plans. And try putting up with those graphics for more than five minutes. The mish mosh of colors and blocks drive me crazy. It's like bad wallpaper.

This must have been one of the worst stocking stuffers of 1991. Personally, I just loved watching Kevin get caught and scream OH NO!!!!!! Yeah, you're dead.

So, remember when we were playing the first Home Alone game? Oh man, wasn't that a blast!? Well, guess what? Home Alone 2 IS EVEN BETTER!! And by better I mean OH..MY..GOD..these games are getting worse.

I'm seriously wondering how long it took to make these games. I'm even debating if the movie production companies just sent over a loose script and had them make both games at the same time and time them according to the movies release. They seriously could not have spent more than a month on the game. If it took longer than that I'd be shocked. I mean seriously, each game only has around roughly 20 minutes of gameplay each.

And apparently, get this, they used sound bits from the Bart Simpson games for this one. Are you kidding me? You guys are trying to bang this out so quickly that you're just stealing audio files from other games?! AGH! DESPICABLE!

Home Alone 2, lost in New York. More like, lost in a hotel, then an apartment building, then FAO shwartz. I think it's supposed to be FAO Shchwartz...someone spell check me on that. Well, in the movie it's not that store, but it's a Toy Store a lot like it.

So in this game, you at least have different levels to work with, but it's the same side scrolling monotony over and over again. The game design makes no sense. You don't even know what you're doing half the time. In the first level you're avoiding run away lamps and vacuum cleaners while being chased by Tim Curry. Then you end up following the Bird Woman around, while avoiding giant dust bunnies? Hell, there are even bosses in this game like giant Rats and Master Chefs from the hotel. Then of course, at the end you gotta stop Marv and Harry by knocking them off a giant Christmas Tree.

I give up....Home Alone, you failed me.

Ultimately, what score do I give these games? They are both downright horrible, but you know, tis the season of giving. But you know what? I don't give a rats arse. These are two of the WORST NES games I have ever played, and it's turned me into a holiday GRINCH this season.

Thanks a lot Kevin - I wish a slow, painful death upon you.

Final Score? 1 giant tarantula on Marv's face.

Until next time, keep on gaming!



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